After spending most of his early years in Milwaukee, Graffiti Artist Brooks Golden felt it was time to venture out into a new city that was very dear to him; a city rich with artistic expression. In 2001, Golden moved to Chicago and jumped head first into the art community.
Golden has kept himself busy since moving to what he calls “The Go” (Chicago). He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for 3 and a half years and began displaying his work in 2007. Golden’s been involved in various group exhibitions and also works on independent projects, such as the fictional art-metal band he created called “DIPSTCK.”
“I’m always drawing, I’m always working,” said Golden, 38.
Golden debuted his first mural in August of 2012. He was approached by Lauren Pacheco, co-founder of Chicago Urban Art Society, about Alderman Danny Solis’ plans to adorn the walls on 16th street with murals, and born was the popular Owl mural that can be found on Paulina Street. It’s his biggest piece of work yet.
“I’ve painted smaller pieces, but it was my first time painting something that large scale. It’s about 30 feet,” he said.
When asked why an owl, Golden simply replied, “ I’m obsessed with birds.” But his fascination with owl imagery began in 2007. The indigenous history behind these nocturnal birds of prey and the folklore attached to them appeals to Golden in a special way, particularly because of his Native-American descent.
Golden often finds inspiration through his African-American and Native American heritage, then puts a modern spin onto those traditional influences. His work also reflects his appreciation for 70s Rock ‘n’ Roll music, early 80s Hip-Hop and Horror films.
He’s currently working on painting new murals for spring and is also working on a whole new body of work that will consist of 15-20 pieces for a solo showing next year.
For Golden, art is another form of communication. It’s problem-solving. “Drawing is thinking, but in symbols. Sometimes, what I’m saying is direct. Sometimes, I just want them [ the audience] to hear their own dialogue.”
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By Samantha Peña